I've been WOH F/T since DD was 10 months old. For the first few weeks before I found a job, I did part-time care in a fabulous in-home daycare (well, it was in a totally renovated basement apartment, so the caregiver didn't live there...she only ran her business out of there). The first few weeks were hell, mostly because DD had been at home with me all her life. Then I transitioned her to full-time, and things went way better.
What I liked about that place:
Lots of individual attention (never more than 6 kids)
Babywearing (DD wasn't walking yet then so I loved that the owner and her assistant wore her around)
Very "home-like" feel
Pro-extended breastfeeding; they never batted an eye when I nursed DD at drop-off and pick-up
Home-made organic and vegetarian food; I don't know how they did it, but they managed to get DD to eat solids
The caregiver: I LOVED the daycare assistant who opened the daycare in the morning...she really made the transition easier for DD.
The cons about this place:
The communication with the owner wasn't great (as in, she didn't return calls all the time)
There were times where the front door was unlocked, which was a big issue for safety
I worked from 8:45 to 4:45, so I dropped DD off around 7:45 and picked her up at 5:00. It cost me 750$ (though I receive governmental subsidy to reimburse me) + a contribution of organic food every week.
When DD was 19 months old, the home daycare situation was falling apart (the owner had conflicts with her assistant), and I separated from my XH which meant 1.5 hrs of travelling per day to get DD to and from daycare. I transfered her to a big private daycare center that was just opening. Everything was brand spanking new and really well thought-out. The owner's wife had run a home daycare for 20 years and as an anniversary present, he was offering her a daycare center to run. :D
The class ratio at this place was more than at DD's first daycare (8 to 1) but I felt that they really had a good grasp on things with each group having their own assistant. The schedule there is very structured, which DD seems to need. My work schedule is the same, though I don't do pick-ups anymore, since my mother works close by. DD is there from 7:30 to 4:30. This place costs 700$ per month (minus the government subsidy).
Very structured environment, lots of activities: DD has made HUGE linguistic strides being at this place
Very concerned about DD's dairy allergy and about the quality of care she is given.
Good communication with the owner and director, as well as the providers...all I need to do is make a call and BAM suddenly everyone is up in arms about whatever issue I've raised...at least I'm being heard!
Parents' committee allowing parents to voice their concerns about specific issues
Longer business hours
Change in personnel: DD has lost 2 providers since she's been there, and has changed rooms twice. It made for a very confused and cranky toddler
This place is strictly French speaking, so while DD has really solidified her French acquisition, I'd like to find a way for her to get some English language before she's forced to attend French elementary school...